What We Have Learnt – Building Our First Home!

So, the real question is where do I start? Should I tell you that little things with our house annoy me because studying interior design, you’d think I would magically think of everything perfect and yet it’s not. Should I tell you that the days and weeks drag on when your waiting for your own house to build, but in reality its not that long. Should I tell you that maybe it’s worth getting the upgrades at Prestart unlike what everyone else told you.

If you haven’t figured it out yet by just the introductory paragraph, there are a few things that I have definitely learnt so far from the build of our first home. With the finish line now in sight, our keys planned to be in our hands in under a week, we can really see the small tweaks that would’ve made our lives so much easier if only we knew during the paperwork phase.

If you are currently looking at building your first home, or your forever home, all I can say is take your time. I know if you’re anything like us, you just want that build to start and get into your home. However, because of this attitude we missed a few small details that will now annoy us when we move in, haha. (This is all despite our contract being extended due to Covid19 and having more time to think about colour selections inside and outside.

WHAT WE FORGOT

Yes, we are not perfect and even thought I’m studying interior design there are still a few things I missed in our house that will bug me. So let me spell them out for you so that you don’t forget about them and regret it like me.

  • The wardrobe rail heights. One of the biggest things I realized as soon as I saw them installed is that the ‘standard’ wardrobe shelf and rail height is wayyyyyy to low (for my preference at least). I feel like there is so much space above that is literally wasted because it is so deep and high and minimizes what we can fit underneath. If I could do it again I’d raise them another 30cm or so to maximize the space underneath with drawers and so on.
  • Thinking it will be cheaper or easier to install better tapware/hardware and so on after. So yes, we have chosen to swap out our handles in the kitchen and bathrooms which I don’t regret because that is easy and simple. But when you’re choosing your door handles; especially for the front door, the sinks for the bathroom, maybe tapware for the bathrooms, just pay that little extra for the upgrade and get it all installed for you. Or purchase your upgrades sourced by yourself and get a credit from the building company and get your choice installed by them. Yes it will still cost you more but save you so much time and regret.
  • Lighting and Electricity. Really think about your lighting and electricity plan. Do your research, discuss plans with a qualified electrician or someone in the trade. Don’t do what we did and remove all main area lighting, and leave the odd placement of laundry, bathroom and wardrobe lighting on the plan. Manipulate it to what suits your lifestyle and get advice on where you might need more power points, lighting options on the wall beside bathroom mirrors, where you need conduit for the pendants you want to install post-handover. I can say we did well with our powerpoints (at least for now I can tell), but with us wanting to go with downlights we chose to install junction boxes in the roof and then install lights afterwards. Yes, we are happy because this suits better with our budget, but we should’ve thought about places like our hallway, laundry, bathrooms, etc that are connected to rooms with downlights.
  • Don’t settle with a house plan or block of land that doesn’t make you truly happy! Your house should be all about you and what works for your family! Not everyone is the same. We are truly happy with the modifications we did on our garage and kitchen that really emphasis on the places we use daily. However, we chose a 4 bedroom home to simply be better with resale value, but adding that ectra bedroom meant having a tiny backyard outside. We both know that one little bedroom wouldn’t make the backyard the garden oasis we dreamed of, but the moral is to go with what feels right for you. Make the small changes that will make impact on your daily life. Whether that be making the island bench larger, making the theatre room into a games room instead, having a powder room as well as a main bathroom and toilet because you have a large family, etc. Whatever it may be, think about your future.

So there’s a little debrief of some of the things we learnt whilst building our first home and a few tricks on the things that have come to my attention at the moment. Feel free to check out more interesting and exciting First Home Building content below!

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